As we track the chimps through the dense forest, Mugisha leads the way with his machete, followed by Hodaka – the camp manager, and me. The chimpanzee Black is now on sight but a big dead tree trunk blocks the way. It’s my turn to pass it. While looking for where to put my feet next on the trunk, I realize that something appends to my shoe. Something, that my brain took quite some time to identify. Something, that slowly moves its head up. A head with a black triangle and with horns on it… A rhino viper! Here it is – always when you don’t expect it! Not sure it will appreciate that I take my camera out so, at this point I just yell: “Oh, WAOOO, there is a rhino viper right next to my shoe! What should I do?! Should I jump or should I freeze?” Stupid question. Hodaka and Mugisha: “Juuump!!” So, did I.
Deadly dangerous but also in dangerous decline, population estimation of B. nasicornis across western and central Africa, where it is found, remains scarce. Because of its reputation and not because of its attacks frequency (at least in Kalinzu forest), some humans would prefer to kill it to prevent potential attacks; a practice that doesn’t support the conservation of this still mysterious animal.